Cross media the Adriatic way

Yup, that's just about how nice it looks. Korcula, Sept 2014.

Yup, that’s just about how nice it looks. Korcula, Sept 2014.

I just spent the best part of eleven days in Croatia, four of which were dedicated to the Korcula Cross Media Lab, an initiative created to connect audiovisual people and people in the tourism industry with each other and with experts on everything from transmedia storytelling to SEO to TV production to augmented reality.

It’s a great initiative, with a very worthy focus. The territory goes by the slogan ”The Mediterranean as it used to be”, and it’s not difficult to understand why. Coming from Finland, a sparsely populated land with a helluva lot of forest and lakes, I felt at home in the not-very-exploited mountains and hills of the Croatian Adriatic coast. It’s an area that would be well worth an influx of tourists of that rare quality-conscious kind – and stories, told in the right manner on the right platforms with the right strategies connected, could assist in making that happen.

That there is talent is evident, in everything from impossibly beautiful time lapses courtesy of Mario Romulic to the bright red felt caps of the Macmalic´ from the island of Cres.

There is an abundance of stories to be told from the region, from the first settlements in the area well B.C. to today’s swan dive into the interconnected media world. The challenge is to reach traction with an audience of sufficient magnitude to give cause for sustainable content creation and innovation in the long run.

There were a host of interesting speakers and presenters present over the course of the four days. People and companies were pitching innovations in the field of tourism and cross media, with notable winners of the lab’s competition being Zagreb-based design company Babushke. Mladen Vukmir talked about more than just the promised field of copyright protection, voicing concern over the sustainability of the world as a whole, with the antiquated notions of the current state of ”copyright” being one symptom of a mindset in need of changing.

Gamification on location, visual storytelling, getting TV PR involved… the subjects were varied and covered a lot of ground. My own talks were on storytelling, audience engagement and cross-, trans- and social media – all set to the backdrop of the stunning island of Korcula and the surrounding regions.

I’d really like to see a continuation of the lab. Not least because I feel the area and the creatives there have a lot of potential and a lot of stories that would deserve a greater audience. I would like to see a deeper collaboration with other, similar regions around Europe, in a Learning and Doing setup that would seek to maximize the use of gleaned knowledge and best practices from all participants.

Finally, the masterminds behind the conference deserve a thank you, on this post also – Helena Bulaja, Pati Keilwerth and Milan Miletic. Great effort!

PS If you would like to support an interesting project, take a look here at Tiny Fables from Das Wilde Dutzed (participants and speakers at the Lab). Give them a like and help them win the Virenscheluderpreis! DS

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